The Lakers are no stranger to the luxury tax, and with the tax penalties going up in 2013/14 and the team's recent commitments to high-paid veterans, owner Jerry Buss is facing a hefty bill. By my calculations, the Lakers already have $74,831,035 committed for 2013/14, and that doesn't include Dwight Howard, who's likely to command a max contract with a starting salary around $20.5MM. If D12 remains in L.A., salary cap expert Larry Coon estimates the Lakers will owe a record $185MM in salary and taxes (Twitter link). If Buss opens his wallet that wide, expect plenty of complaining from small-market teams whose owners would never dream of spending that much in single season. While we wait to see how high the Lakers will go, there's plenty more from around the Pacific Division:
- The Lakers made their signing of Jodie Meeks official today, and the 6'4" shooting guard tells Mike Trudell of Lakers.com that the team's decorated history and the chance to play with multiple future Hall-of-Famers lured him to L.A.
- Stephen Curry is stepping up his rehab from right ankle surgery as he works toward being ready for camp, Matt Steinmetz of CSNBayArea.com reports. Curry will spend four days in a row at the Warriors' practice facility, allowing the team a look at the point guard as they decide whether to pursue an extension. Michael Pina of Hoops Rumors profiled Curry's extension candidacy earlier this month.
- Paul Coro of the Arizona Republic recaps the statements James Harden has made in the past few weeks about either signing an extension with the Thunder or considering the Suns in free agency, and shares a few other Phoenix-related observations from the summer.